The first days…

Bonjour tout le monde! I am interning for a humanitarian association in Paris, which is a non-profit association focused on children at risk, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations. There are committed to supporting children into adulthood if they cannot return to their families, and have been in existence for 20 years. Their fundraising efforts fund their three centers in Haiti, Senegal, and Madagascar.

I am on day three of my internship, and I couldn’t imagine a crazier time to arrive. The organization puts on two large sales per year, and I happened to arrive five days before their large summer sale. The office was in disarray, there were clothes and stacks of boxes everywhere. People were constantly dropping packages off and the phone would not stop ringing. I had no idea how NGO’s work, but after some reflection, it makes sense. Twenty minutes into my internship I had already been put in charge of advertising the sale on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

The organization is quite small, and I never realized that for the large part, unless it is a for-profit humanitarian association, NGO’s typically operate as small teams. There is a founder, two assistants (both in their 20’s), a front desk woman, and 3 other interns. After day two of work, one of the interns quit because the pace and amount of tasks was too much. On the contrary, I really enjoy the pace of the environment and enjoy the feeling that I am contributing. When working in a small team, it is important that all team members are active and engaged. NGO’s are limited by their resources and funding so it is important to maintain an open and creative environment to address the present demands of the population they are helping.

I can’t wait to see what the big event, and the following weeks holds!

À bientôt,